Bamford Introduced As UMass AD; Recruit Update: Leonard Named ESPN Boston’s “Mr. Hockey”

“I am enthused to get back on campus after four years of being away from college hockey.  Hockey East is arguably the best conference in the country.  And that’s something that I want to help [with].  I want to help be the best hockey program we can be.  And football.  And basketball.  And I think we can get there.”

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Recruit Update: Post-Season Honors For Pelton-Byce And Leonard

The season is over for Massachusetts hockey but not so for all of its recruits.  It’s been a couple weeks so let’s take a look at the future Minutemen.

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Recruit Update: Plevy Wins AJHL Scoring Title

In case you missed it, I reported last week that recruit Brandon Egli, who was due to arrive in Amherst this fall, has been released from his commitment due to qualification issues.  There’s still plenty of others to keep track of.  Playoffs are in full swing for many of the future Minutemen.

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Recruit Update: Renyard Named AJHL MVP, Top Goaltender

So this winter of hell has given me enough reprieve to write my first recruit update in nearly a month (though as I type this it is of course starting to snow outside AGAIN).  UMass did pick up another commitment during that time.  It came from Brian Scoville, a defenseman from Agawam currently playing for Cushing Academy.  We’ll have plenty of time to get to know Scoville since he is the coaching staff’s first 2018 recruit.  Let’s see how Scoville and the rest of the recruit have fared in February.

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Recruit Update: Des Moines Forward Joe Widmar Commits to UMass

Coach John Micheletto and the Massachusetts hockey program has picked up another commitment, presumably for this coming fall.  Des Moines forward Joe Widmar announced on twitter tonight that he has committed to the Minutemen.

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Recruit Update: Leonard Hits 100 Career Points

It’s Tuesday, so time to take a look at how the recruits fared this past week, including yesterday’s new addition William Lagesson.

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Vatrano Named Hockey East Player of the Month; Recruit Update

Massachusetts sophomore Frank Vatrano gained the well deserved honor of being named the Hockey East Player of the Month for December today.  Vatrano, who has been on fire since the first day of November, had six goals and 3 assists during last month.  Crunching the numbers, as I tend to do, Vatrano accounted for 43% of the Minutemen’s goals, 26% of the team’s total points, and 20% of their shots on goal during the final month of the year.

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Recruit Update: Pelton-Byce, Leonard Lead Teams To Tournament Titles

This is a long overdue look at how the future Minutemen have fared lately as holiday schedules and mid-week games haven’t allowed for one in recent weeks.  Gone from the recruit list is Brandon Montour who has made his UMass debut and has two assists in his three games as a Minuteman.  Added to the list are Nic Renyard and Ivan Chukarov who verbally committed to Coach Micheletto’s program earlier in the month.

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Recruits, Polls, & Awards

Given three games in the next five days the weekly post cadence is being compressed so tonight we’ll take a look at how the recruits are doing, the big Hockey East news in the polls, and find out if Eichel swept the conference awards for last week.

There won’t be a separate preview for the Turkey Tuesday Tilt.  For reference you can read last week’s preview of the Vermont game and my thoughts following Saturday’s game.  Despite the offensive eruption that occurred on Saturday, it’s still Vermont’s defense and goaltending that will likely decide the game.  Brody Hoffman made some key saves early on Saturday that helped set the tone for the Catamounts.  Still I don’t think too many UMass fans will be focused on what’s going on with the Cats and will be more concerned with how their team reacts to getting beaten 11-1 just days ago.  Personally I think we’ll likely see a very different UMass team than what they witnessed on Saturday.  Will it be enough to get the win?  I don’t know.  But even a hard-fought, close affair will be a vast improvement.

Brandon Montour – D – Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL) – Dec 2014
15 GP /4 G / 14 A / 18 Pts / 30 PIM /-3
Montour had to sit out Waterloo’s lone game this past weekend due to a suspension for hitting from behind.

Brandon Egli – D – Vernon Vipers (BCHL) – 2015
15 GP / 0 G /2 A / 2 Pts / 17 PIM
Egli had an assist this past week.

Jake McCarthy – D – South Shore Kings (USPHL) – 2015 or 2016
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM
McCarthy is still nursing an injury that is delaying his debut for the Kings.

Kurt Keats – C – Powell River Kings (BCHL) – 2015
24 GP / 21 G / 13 A / 34 Pts / 41PIM
Keats continues to dominate the BCHL with two goals and an assist in two games this past week.  Keats is 2nd in the BCHL in goals, 3rd in points, and 3rd in PPG.

Austin Plevy – C – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2015
26 GP / 16 G /26 A / 42 Pts / 48 PIM
Plevy had another big week, scoring three goals to go with an assists in three games.  Plevy is 4th in the AJHL in goals, 2nd in assists, 1st in points.

Shane Bear – D – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016
27 GP / 0 G / 13 A / 13 Pts / 37 PIM
Bear had an assist in his last three games.

Troy Conzo – RW – Wenatchee Wild (NAHL) – 2016 or 2017
3 GP / 0 G / 0 A /0 Pts / 0 PIM / –2  Des Moines (USHL)
7 GP/ 2 G/ 1 A / 3 Pts / 2 PIM / 0 Wenatchee (NAHL)
Last week I reported that Conzo had four goals in his first few games with his new team.  It appears the NAHL website double counted one of the games.  So he actually has two goals and an assist since moving leagues.

Kyler Nachtigall – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016
27 GP / 6 G / 6 A / 12 Pts / 39 PIM
Nachtigall had a goal and and two assists in his last three games.

Ty Pelton-Byce – C – Team Wisconsin U18 (Elite)/Madison Memorial (WI HS) – 2016
21 GP / 12 G / 12 A / 24 Pts / 8 PIM  Team Wisconsin U18
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts  Madison Memorial
Madison Memorial’s season kicks off on November 28th.

John Leonard – F – Springfield Rifles (Mass Selects)/Springfield Cathedral (MA HS) – 2017
14 GP / 21 G / 11 A / 32 Pts  Springfield Rifles
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts  Springfield Cathedral
Cathedral’s season starts December 13th.

The big news around Hockey East today is that Boston University gained the top spot in this week’s USCHO poll.  It didn’t take second year head coach David Quinn long to get BU back to where they were customarily used to in college hockey.  It’s unknown if they can remain so highly ranked for the rest of the year, but you have to be impressed to see them bounce back from being the 9th best team in Hockey East last year to tops in the nation in such a short time.

Lowell moved up a spot to #4 after taking three points at Notre Dame.  Boston College stays at #12 despite beating UMass and Maine during the weekend.  The Catamounts 11 goal effort over the Minutemen wasn’t enough to make up for their loss to UConn in the voters’ eyes and they dropped a couple spots to #13.  This weekend’s opponent, Quinnipiac, stayed pat at #14.  Providence dropped to #20 despite beating UNH this past weekend.  The Friars and Wildcats were supposed to play two but Friday’s game was postponed due to ice problems.

Elsewhere in Hockey East Merrimack and Northeastern split a series that saw the Warriors lose one of their goaltenders.  Maine got swept by BU and BC in a trip to the Hub.  The Terriers dominated UConn 5-2 on Saturday.  #1 BU will be action on Tuesday as well taking on Harvard, because it’s not like they’re already slated to play in the Beanpot or anything (oh wait, they are).

USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll

November 24, 2014

Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll
1 Boston University (42) 8- 1-1 988 3
2 North Dakota ( 3) 9- 3-1 889 2
3 Minnesota ( 1) 7- 3-0 825 4
4 Massachusetts-Lowell 8- 2-3 806 5
5 Miami 10- 4-0 764 7
6 Michigan Tech 10- 2-0 748 1
7 Minnesota State ( 3) 9- 3-0 746 9
8 Minnesota-Duluth ( 1) 9- 5-0 615 8
9 Colgate 9- 4-1 575 6
10 Denver 8- 3-0 572 10
11 Nebraska-Omaha 7- 2-1 435 13
12 Boston College 7- 5-0 425 12
13 Vermont 8- 3-1 423 11
14 Quinnipiac 8- 3-1 319 14
15 Bowling Green 10- 3-1 292 18
16 St. Cloud State 5- 6-1 249 16
17 Union 6- 5-1 214 15
18 Harvard 5- 1-2 147 NR
19 Northern Michigan 7- 2-1 141 17
20 Providence 5- 5-1 115 19
Others receiving votes: Robert Morris 96, St. Lawrence 48, Merrimack 30, Yale 17, Penn State 15, Ferris State 4, Notre Dame 2.

 

  Conference     Overall
    GP W-L-T   PTS GF-GA     GP W-L-T GF-GA
1 Vermont 10 6-3-1   13 34-19     12 8-3-1 39-20
  Boston University 8 6-1-1   13 33-16     10 8-1-1 37-18
3 Mass.-Lowell 7 5-0-2   12 28-10     13 8-2-3 49-32
4 Merrimack 7 4-3-0   8 16-13     13 8-4-1 36-26
  Providence 7 4-3-0   8 11-10     11 5-5-1 20-24
6 Boston College 6 3-3-0   6 18-16     12 7-5-0 39-31
  Notre Dame 6 2-2-2   6 12-15     14 6-6-2 39-37
8 Connecticut 6 2-3-1   5 11-14     13 3-6-4 22-31
  Northeastern 8 2-5-1   5 17-28     12 2-9-1 22-41
10 Maine 7 2-5-0   4 17-25     13 3-9-1 28-45
11 New Hampshire 5 1-4-0   2 8-16     11 4-7-0 29-30
  Massachusetts 7 1-6-0   2 16-39     10 3-7-0 30-48

 

Jack Eichel won the Hockey East Player of the Week Award with UConn and Providence also represented in this week’s superlatives.

Updated previews from UMass Athletics and Vermont.

The Burlington Free Press preview talks about forgetting about Saturday.  Sounds good to me!

Recruit Update

Brandon Montour – D – Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL) – Dec 2014
15 GP /4 G / 14 A / 18 Pts / 30 PIM /-3
Montour had a goal and three assists in his last three games.  In fact his goal made the USHL highlights this week (2:10 mark below).  Montour continues to lead USHL defensemen in points and 5th among all skaters.

USHL Week 8 Highlights

Brandon Egli – D – Vernon Vipers (BCHL) – 2015
13 GP / 0 G /1 A / 1 Pts / 17 PIM
No points for Egli last week.

Jake McCarthy – D – South Shore Kings (USPHL) – 2015 or 2016
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM
McCarthy is still nursing an injury that is delaying his debut for the Kings.

Kurt Keats – C – Powell River Kings (BCHL) – 2015
22 GP / 19 G / 12 A / 31 Pts / 37 PIM
Keats had two assists in his lone game this past week.  He’s currently second in the BCHL in goals and 5th in points.

Austin Plevy – C – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2015
23 GP / 13 G /24 A / 37 Pts / 44 PIM
Plevy had a goal and five assists in three games this past week.  Plevy leads the AJHL in points and points per game and is tied for 5th in goals.

Shane Bear – D – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016
24 GP / 0 G / 12 A / 12 Pts / 37 PIM
Bear had an assist in his last three games.

Troy Conzo – RW – Wenatchee Wild (NAHL) – 2016 or 2017
3 GP / 0 G / 0 A /0 Pts / 0 PIM / –2  Des Moines (USHL)
7 GP/ 2 G/ 1 A / 3 Pts / 2 PIM / 0 Wenatchee (NAHL)
Last week I reported that Conzo had four goals in his first few games with his new team.  It appears the NAHL website double counted one of the games.  So he actually has two goals and an assist since moving leagues.

Kyler Nachtigall – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016
24 GP / 5 G / 6 A / 11 Pts / 37 PIM
Nachtigall had a goal and and two assists in his last three games.

Ty Pelton-Byce – C – Team Wisconsin U18 (Elite)/Madison Memorial (WI HS) – 2016
21 GP / 12 G / 12 A / 24 Pts / 8 PIM  Team Wisconsin U18
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts  Madison Memorial
Madison Memorial’s season kicks off on November 28th.

John Leonard – F – Springfield Rifles (Mass Selects)/Springfield Cathedral (MA HS) – 2017
14 GP / 21 G / 11 A / 32 Pts  Springfield Rifles
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts  Springfield Cathedral
Cathedral’s season starts December 13th.

The big news around college hockey today was that Arizona State will elevate their championship caliber club program to Division I.  The plan is to transition next year and then to play as an independent in 2016.  They’ll then find a conference, likely the NCHC or WCHA, for 2017.  I love any news that shows that college hockey is expanding.  The great thing about the Sun Devils joining the DI ranks is it could lead to other Pac-12 teams to follow their path.  ASU will be sticking with their current club coach for their jump to DI.

For tomorrow’s View From Section U feature I’m going to do a round of UMail and answer your questions.  So please send me questions about the season thus far, geometric hockey jerseys, beer, or whatever.  You can send me your questions by commenting on this post, email, or Twitter.

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